Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: When someone has done something wrong and don't even realize it how do you forgive them?
Sri Sri: When you forgive then your mind becomes calm. Tell them with compassion and love, not with anger. If you become happy by putting guilt in someone's mind that is not good either. Tell them with skill and then you drop it.
Q: What are the ingredients to be successful? How come Lord Krishna found Success in everything He does?
Sri Sri: For success in life you need yukti (skill) and shakti (strength), Bhakti (Devotion ) and Mukti (Freedom). Freedom and love in personal life! Without freedom you will find no love and without love there is no joy. Freedom doesn’t mean doing anything. You follow some norms, a little discipline. And in social life you need shakti and yukti, strength and skill. And this is what Ramayana and Mahabharata tells you. Though Duryodhana had all the power but he had no yukti, no bhakti. The skill was with Krishna and so he won.
Q: Can love happen twice? Husband and wife are already in a relationship? Can husband or wife start loving someone else?
Sri Sri: Tell me are you single or married? Ok, so you are single. If you are married and your wife tells you that she loves someone else, then how will you feel? (I will feel bad.) If you flirt with someone else, she will feel the same. Once you decide to get married, then just be faithful. Before choosing you can look for suitable match, but once you decide, settle down. Is that a good idea? Rise in love, don't fall in love. I see that so many youth, they are in love with someone and the person they are in love with someone else, so they make a whole emotional mess in the mind. Please don’t do that. Love is eternal and life is eternal. If it is not coming to you in one form, wait it will come to you in another form.
Q: 2012 will be yugantam (end of the world) according to many beliefs. Please speak on that.
Sri Sri: Yugantam is another transition of time. Nothing is going to happen.
Q: How much importance should we give to Vaastu Shastra in our life?
Sri Sri: It is an ancient scripture with the science of directions. It says which direction the wind blows, which direction the cosmic energies are moving. Unfortunately, we don't have the whole of Vaastu Shastra. Lot of it is lost, destroyed. So whatever we think we have and our Vaastu people have, we are making use of it. There is something interesting about it, there are scientific validations to that. There are scientific validations to ancient thoughts. Just that not explained scientifically. We need to understand some of the customs properly.
Q: Guruji what is the difference between love and attraction?
Sri Sri: Attraction is short lived, but love lasts much longer. Love takes you in, the other is exterior!
Q: When we take rebirth when does the old soul enter the body?
Sri Sri: Rebirth happens! So many times we have died and taken birth. Soul can enter the womb at any one of the three times: at the time of conceiving, or the 3rd month of pregnancy, or at the time of birth. Many souls race and from these souls only one gets the body. In a race only one comes first, right? Sometimes, there are two then there are twins!
Q: Guruji, what is Nirvana? Or better, give it to us right now!
Sri Sri: Nirvana is bringing the balance and having no feverishness for any desire. Desire means a lack. When you say, I want nothing, I am content, that is nirvana. But that doesn't mean you shun your duties. You perform your duties well but you are with your center. Even craving for enlightenment is an hindrance to enlightenment.
All emotions are linked with people, objects and events. Catching on to objects, people or relationships hinders freedom, liberation. When the mind is free from all impressions and concepts, you are liberated. The state of nothingness is called Nirvana, enlightenment, Samadhi. Nirvana is getting back to me from mine. Who am I? When you go deep inside you, layer after layer, that is nirvana. It is like peeling an onion! What do you find in the center of an onion? Nothing!
When you know that everything is changing - all relationships, people, body, feelings - suddenly the mind which clings on to misery comes back to you. The return from mine to me, gives you contentment and freedom from misery. Reposing in that state of contentment is nirvana.
Q: Do you get moksha by effort or without any effort?
Sri Sri: Both! It is like catching a train. Once you get into the train you have to rest. You cannot keep thinking that I have to get down at this station all the time. You need to rest. You don't have to do anything then. Just sit and relax!
Q: Why swamis have beard and long hair?
Sri Sri: We do 100%, either we take everything off or keep everything. But it is no sign to get beard or long hair to get enlightened. Anyone can get enlightened, anyone can meditate. Outer appearance is immaterial. This is just a uniform.